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Sunday, 12 January 2014

Off The Beaten Path At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (11 Jan 2014)

I happened to be around the vicinity of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve so I decided go there for a short walk. After having experienced the jammed packed crowd the last time I was there, I was mentally prepared to go to another place if the crowd persisted. Fortunately when I reached the place, the crowd was not as bad and I managed to get a car park lot. Armed with the Tamron AF 70-300 mm lens, I was confident that I will be able to get some decent macro shots with it, especially after a successful trip the night before.

For this particular trip, I have also decided to go off the usual beaten path and venture into the small paths that crisscross the place. The small paths were mostly formed by durian pickers during the durian season which was just over not too long ago.


The first beetle that I came across just after the entrance to the place was this small 3 mm Leaf Beetle. The shape of this beetle was very much like the Lema diversa Leaf Beetle but much smaller and spot a light brown coloration. This is a first-time-encountered beetle. What a great way to start the trip with.


The next beetle was a small 4 mm Soldier Beetle. It was hiding under a leaf.


This is the first time that I purposely move off-track and go into the various small paths, not knowing what to expect. Just then I noticed a small 3 mm Leaf Beetle which remained motionless during the entire time of my photographing it. This was the second time that I came across this lovely beetle.


Moving down one of the many paths, I came across this Net-wing Beetle (probably Calopteron rubricolle) which was not particular fond of me. It was pretty restless and kept flying off when I was trying to photograph it.


Next was the highlight of the trip - a Leaf Beetle with a half-and-half coloration and pattern on its elytra. This was so interesting looking but I not sure if it was due to some injuries or was it some kind of mutation.


Moving to a plant that does not look too healthy, I found this lone beetle which was pacing up and down a leaf.


More paths to follow and just at the beginning of another path, I found this lovely orange, first-time-encountered Soldier Beetle.

Moving to a fallen and rotting tree trunk, I found this Fungus Beetle (Eumporphus assamensis) which remained motionless throughout the entire time that I was photographing it.


Walking onto another path, I found this bright first-time-encountered Net-winged Beetle. It looked like the Dictyoptera aurora Net-winged Beetle but it is orange instead of red in color. It was rather sensitive and flew off after a few shots of it.


The next beetle was one of my favorite Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis) that I would occasionally find in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.  This time round it was interesting as I managed to find 5 of this type of beetle along a particular path.


Near to the Fungus Beetle was a rotten tree stump where I found this lovely metallic blue Fungus Beetle which I just came across first time the night before.


Next to the metallic blue Fungus Beetle was small 3 mm first-time-encountered Fungus Beetle.


Moving on to another path I found this first-time-encountered Soldier Beetle resting on leaf. This looked similar to the Crudosilis ruficollis Soldier Beetle except for the color of its legs and the shape and color of its pronotum (thorax).


The weather was getting warmer and so I retreated into the relatively cooler path where the overhead foliage were thicker. I figured that if I am feeling the heat, so critters that I am looking for would also find shelters from the heat. True to my thinking, I found a number of beetles along the shaded paths.

Here's a small 5 mm Net-winged Beetle.


A Leaf Beetle hiding under a leaf. Interestingly it didn't fly off when I slowly turn over the leaf to get some good shots of it.


A pair of small 2 mm Fungus Beetles were found on the side of a shaded tree.


While walking along the shaded path, I was drawn to some movements and found this Long Horned Beetle (Sclethrus amoenus). This was the second time that I came across this beetle. It is rather sensitive to movements and my Tamron AF70-300 mm lens came in handy as I am able to zoom in to it from 2 meters away.


Resting in the shade was this Tiger Beetle (Therates dimidiatus). This is another hyper-sensitive beetle that will promptly fly away when it detected movements.  This photo was taken from a distance of about 2 meters using direct flash. Looking back, I should have used a flash diffuser to remove the hard shadow.


I was out of the trail and was near to the Visitor Center that I found this Chafer Beetle. Notice the long hairs at the edge of its elytra.


The last beetle that I found before I left the place was this metallic blue Leaf Beetle. It was pretty calm and did not fly off even though I was handling the leaf that it was on so that I can get better shots.


This trip was fruitful not only because I managed to find some interesting beetles but also because I managed to get a better feel of taking macro using my Tamron AF70-300 mm lens.